I subscribe to just about everything that interests me, from: Home Renovation, to Retail Stores, daily deals and more newsletters then may be healthy for one individual.
Why would you do that to yourself?! Curiosity mostly. I want to see what people are sending, how they are deploying it (which ESP, or home grown system), or in some cases I’m investigating a client or prospect. In almost every case subscribing to a companies newsletter takes just a few minutes – marketers want this to be the easy part (If you don’t you should!) – and I’m happily off and running with another message in my already bulging inbox.
Today I had the unfortunate experience of being unable to subscribe… What’s that you say – unable to subscribe? Yup, I sure did.
In an age where mailers are looking to grow their list and add to a shrinking client base (30% a year attrition) you would think that making an opt-in page easy to find would be your top priority.
Tips for making opt-in easy:
- Make it easy to find – have a clear call to action, a easy to find and noticeable location to collect information. EmailKarma.net’s opt-in is usually the 3 or 4th item on the right hand side
- Don’t over ask for information – some forms are simply too long – capture 4 or 5 solid pieces of information (Email, First Name, Last Name, Postal/Zip Code and Opt-in), the rest can be asked later as optional data points to help with segmentation – but the basics can get you started well enough.
- Don’t use confusing language/double negatives – Click here to not get email from us, or Uncheck the box to not get email
- Get consent from individuals – Opt-out is no longer good enough, new and evolving legislation and ISP requirements are continually moving towards a consent based regime. Under C-28 (FISA) explicit consent last forever (until an unsub occurs), and implied is good for 24 months
Remember the easier it is and the more clarity you can offer to your potential subscriber the more likely you are to grow your list.
Working in the higher ed field (college admissions) and having a deep interest in publications, e-mail and marketing, I join college mailing lists regularly.
I can attest that difficulty in finding mailing list forms on a college admissions Web site is all too common, and occasionally it is downright impossible to find a mailing list form (i.e. it simply doesn’t exist).
Here’s the situation I often see: The college Admissions Web site is filled with links to Facebook and Twitter, online chats, YouTube… Yet looking for the mailing list form is an Easter egg hunt.
Why are people chasing shiny objects when they still need a lot of improvement on executing basics like getting people on the mailing list? Superior execution of existing ideas can have a greater impact than developing new ideas.
Don’t get me wrong – I use social media in marketing in targeted ways and it has some value. But the foundation of social media for me is having a mailing list to promote these efforts to, a list that also offers opportunities for snail mail and e-mail efforts that have greater impact.